US Department of Defense Issues RFP for Microgrids

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The US Department of Defense wants to reduce costs and speed time to install military microgrids, so is seeking demonstration projects via a newly issued request for proposals (RFP).

miramar microgrid tour

MCAS Miramar is home to an advanced military microgrid. Photo provided by Mick Wasco, MCAS Miramar

Through its Installation Energy Test Bed, the defense department intends to fund multiple projects that speed microgrid design, simplify component and system integration, and accommodate expansion of military microgrids.

Pre-proposals are due 2 pm ET, March 7, 2019. The defense department anticipates seeking full proposals in August and announcing winners in October. Under this schedule, project construction would begin in Spring 2020.

The military is seeking microgrid configurations that take into consideration characteristics of military bases. For example, as the RFP notes, military bases are “neither clean slates nor are they monolithic” when it comes to energy infrastructure.

Many already have invested extensively in generation assets, distribution systems, substations, load configurations, storage, metering and other energy infrastructure.

Further, energy loads may be distributed throughout the base or grouped together.

And a base’s energy needs may change with new missions. So a microgrid configuration may change over time.

Review of RFP

Some of the winning projects may be built at military bases, but the RFP envisions most being developed at test facilities. Projects will be selected through a multi-stage review process, including a brief pre-proposal, a full proposal, and an oral presentation.

Join us at Microgrid 2019: Shaping the New Electric Grid for a tour of the innovative microgrid at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.

The RFP seeks technologies that demontrate the ability to:

  • Network multiple microgrids together using advanced monitoring, control, and communication technologies
  • Cost-effectively implement a scalable microgrid from ground up or facilitate integration of additional critical loads, generation, and storage assets into an existing microgrid
  • Cost-effectively exploit legacy generation assets and modify building load configuration in response to changing missions
  • Simplify the design process

The contact for the RFP is: Tim Tetreault, program manager for installation energy & water, Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) 571-372-6397, [email protected] The RFP is available on on the ESTCP site

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.